Center of Arts and Academics wins SC CEFPI Honor Award

March 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Thomas & Denzinger Architects is excited to have been recognized by the Council of Educational Facility Planners for the design of the Center of Arts and Academics in North Charleston, SC.  The state chapter of CEFPI awarded the facility an Honor Award for 2012, and this project was completed by the Denzinger Studio of Thomas & Denzinger.

The Center of Arts and Academics is essentially a small campus of several buildings which house two magnet schools for the Charleston County School District, the nationally recognized Academic Magnet High School and the School of the Arts, a middle and high school.

By operating under the belief that learning happens not just in the classroom but in the in-between spaces,  a campus with nine separate buildings was created that are all connected by a central exterior covered walkway or “Stoa.”   This spine is the central feature of the school, linking academics and arts.  Beyond its purely functional use as an architectural element of connection, circulation and energy distribution, it provides a place for casual and spontaneous interaction between students and faculty.  Along the length of the spine, a series of architectural elements or pavilions articulate the entrance to each of the different buildings or departments that branch off from the central walkway.  Within the portion of the spine housing the arts magnet school – from its core academic buildings on one side to the various studios, rehearsal rooms, and theater on the other – the spine provides an outdoor classroom, an outdoor rehearsal room or impromptu stage.  Along the portion of the spine connecting the common facilities such as the cafeteria and gymnasium, outdoor recreational spaces for dining, congregation, and recess complement the spine.

Through the shared campus of these two magnet schools, the Charleston County School District now has state of the art facilities to support the development of the exceptional student talent it houses, both artistic and academic.

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